Spring comedy guide: Funny business

 Rachel “Debbie Downer” Dratch will lift your spirits at  the Women in Comedy Festival next week. Credit: nbc universal/getty images
Rachel “Debbie Downer” Dratch will lift your spirits at
the Women in Comedy Festival next week.
Credit: nbc universal/getty images

March
Women in Comedy Festival
March 21 through 24
Various locations
www.womenincomedy
festival.com
Despite the success of innumerable female comedians, you still hear now and then that women aren’t as funny as men. There are more than 200 comics at this festival who would beg to differ. This year’s headliners include Rachel Dratch, Erin Foley and Maria Bamford. A few non-woman comics like Horatio Sanz also join in on the fun.

April
David Sedaris
April 7, Symphony Hall
301 Mass. Ave., Boston
$40-$60, 617-482-6661
www.celebrityseries.org
David Sedaris’ books are funny enough to read, but as fans of “This American Life” well know, hearing him read his own stories out loud adds to the hilarity.

Geek Week Comedy Fest
April 16 through 21
ImprovBoston
40 Prospect St., Cambridge
Prices TBA, 617-576-1253
www.improvboston.com
One of the nerd-side advantages in the interminable nerd vs. jock wars is a superior sense of humor. Sure, a lot of that humor is only understood by other geeks, but they’ve long since ceased trying to impress you “normals” anyway. All manner of geek comedy will be on display at this festival, where it will be safe to make ingeniously clever references to Magic cards, comic books and Star Wars obscurities without blank stares.

May
Sommore
May 17, The Wilbur Theatre
246 Tremont St., Boston
$33, 800-745-3000
www.ticketmaster.com
One-named performers tend to have strong personalities — think of Sting, Madonna or Prince —and Sommore is no exception. She deserves a medal for her foul-mouthed frankness.

ongoing
‘The Last Twinkie’
Improv Asylum
216 Hanover St., Boston
$52, 617-263-NUTS
www.improvasylum.com
The Asylum’s phone number ends in the word nuts! And it is seriously crazy how these actors blend topical and timeless sketches with off-the-top-of-their head improv comedy.

‘Shear Madness’
Charles Playhouse
74 Warrenton St., Boston
$52, 617-426-5225
www.shearmadness.com
It seems like “Shear Madness” has been in Boston since time immemorial. Legend has it that Ben Franklin was its original star —back when it was known as “The Lunatick Chirurgeon.” OK, we just made that up. No, we’re not pretending to be as good as the improvisers at Improv Asylum or Improv Boston or the ones in this production, in which the audience solves the crime — in between fits of laughter, that is. It’s different every time, depending on the crowd, so even if you’ve seen it before, you kinda haven’t. matthew dinaro


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